Review: A Place for Us by Liza Gyllenhaal

A Place for Us by Liza Gyllenhaal
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pages:  336
Source:  book provided by the publisher for review

Brook Bostock has led a privileged life. The daughter of an extremely wealthy and prominent family, she married the man of her dreams and is raising two deeply loved children. But her happy home is shattered when a neighborhood teenager is assaulted during a night of drinking with the Bostocks’ son and his prep school friends.

The scandal receives national attention—not only because of Brook’s family name, but because of the lawsuit looming against Brook and her husband, Michael, that alleges they are responsible for what went on in their house. Suddenly the small Massachusetts town they call home seems to be turning against them, revealing the simmering jealousies and resentments that have been lurking under the surface all along.

With their once-perfect family in danger of falling apart, Brook and Michael must find a way to get through this together—or risk losing everything they love…


Review:  Ms. Gyllenhaal takes us into the depths of small town life.  After years of being married Brooke and Michael move back to Michael’s home town.  Brooke feels like more of an outcast because his family never liked/accepted her.  They feel that she is showing off because of the parties she throws.  They are really a part of the business that she has with a friend.

Brooke and Michael have a son who has been away at boarding school, when he comes home the story switches to something that you could have found on your local news channel or the headlines in the evening newspaper.  About teens with alcohol, attached sexually and blaming the wrong person because you are mad at them.

More and more times the parents are now being held responsible for the children’s actions, which are one of the topics that Ms. Gyllenhaal brings to light.  It comes down to whom as a society do we blame?

And just because people have money does that give us the right to automatically assume that they are guilty and being guilty they can buy their freedom?

As the characters struggle we find that just like real life they struggle to find their identities throughout the whole mess along with their worth as people.  As the characters struggle, a marriage is affected, a family tries to salvage their relationships and that complicated moral issues are just that complicated.

All in all the concept of the story is very believable as are the characters.  This is something that every town in every country deals with…teens, underage drinking…sexual attacks and where to place the blame.  Should the parents be held responsible?  It is for you to decide.  Overall this is a classy, well written, emotional book.